Algol vs Fortran was RE: VHDL vs Verilog

Ray Arachelian ray at
Wed Feb 10 10:54:53 CST 2010

Dave McGuire wrote:
>   Useful in saving programmer time, yes.  But look at the result!  A
> modern multi-GHz Linux box running GTK is far less
> "responsive"-feeling than my old SPARCstation-IPX running fvwm when
> just tooling around the GUI.  A little more time spent by the
> programmers, ignoring the "easy way out" or heavy OO programming and
> it'd be FAR faster.
There's always lighter things like LXDE or XFCE.

>   So, spend a little time now, ONCE, and make a million Linux boxes
> twice as fast?  That sounds like a good deal to me.
Indeed 5 minutes saved of programmer time = thousands of hours (or for
popular apps millions) wasted by end users.

>   Yes I know GTK isn't written in an OO language, but I'm talking
> about OO *techniques*...just like some programmers (I may be guilty of
> this) can "write C in any language", some programmers seem to be able
> to write C++ any any language.
It's not the OOP stuff, it's the architecture astronaut ideal of
layering meaningless abstractions on top of meaningless abstractions. 
It's turtles all the way down. :-)

It was always PREMATURE optimization that was evil, not optimization. 
Yet, they plow on like all optimization is evil.

Some of the stuff amazes me.  We now have an app at $WORK that's an in
memory XML db - the data in memory is just a plain XML file as far as we
can tell - not tokenized and structured.  Our db is ~100GB in size and
growing.   Worse yet, this db "engine" is not multithreaded.  Also, it
takes about an hour to save or load the db from/to disk.  Of course this
is on a clustered system for high availability.  But it takes more than
an hour to do a failover.

The previous version required you to load X copies of the db in memory
if you wanted to do X things with it at once!  So a 384GB - yes GB
machine with 32 AMD 2GHz cores just isn't enough for this thing.  
They've fixed this a bit, but nowhere near what it should be.

Like all poorly written apps, this one crashes occasionally.  Care to
guess what happens to the poor file system when it tries to write a
300GB core file to disk that's far smaller? :-(

This is just pure insanity.  Just 25 years ago, I remember fighting to
save every byte of a 5K program, and now we have this insanity.

GTK has NOTHING on this evil thing.  Be happy if GTK's your only gripe. :-)

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